Email Bounces: What Are They and How to Get Rid of Them.

Bounces bring up thoughts of inflatable castles, happy childhoods and Baywatch, but in the world of email marketing, bounces are just as bad as the lines they gave David Hasselhoff.

They refer to your email not making it to the inbox landing zone and getting shot down so it can’t complete its mission – think Black Hawk Down in cyberspace. Email Bounces are definitely not as fun as they sound.

Bounces come in two forms, but both aren’t good for your email marketing campaign. Email Bounces can ruin the hopes of your email campaign from doing any good!

CC Image from Ryan Lai

Soft Email Bounces are when there’s a temporary issue delivering your mail to an inbox. However, being the try hard that it is, your email will continue to try and get delivered. If after three days it keeps getting rejected (bounced) then it is identified as a Soft Bounce.

Hard Email Bounces refer to your email being completely rejected from the get go, like that guy who went to prom alone. Your email was blocked and will always be blocked. This could be due to a couple of reasons that have nothing to do with Somali nationalists.

What Brings the Bounces?

The twin evils of email bounces are slightly different and thus have different causes. Soft Email Bounces have many causes, but the most common issues are trivial. Maybe the recipient mailbox is full? It could be that the recipient address is down. Maybe it really is you and not them and your email message is too large. The problem with Soft Email Bounces is that if they are always getting bounced, they turn into Hard Email Bounces.

As you can see, while not exactly good, Soft Bounces are not as dire as Miley Cyrus’ image. Hard Bounces on the other hand, are a whole other ball game. If Soft Bounces are Miley as Hannah Montana, Hard Bounces are Miley Cyrus after ‘Wrecking Ball’ – and they can wreck your chances of making any money through email marketing!

Hard Email Bounces are generally the result of permanent issues with delivery. Perhaps the recipient email address does not exist or was deleted, the domain name does not exist or the email server has completely blocked you. Get too many Hard Email Bounces and you tear down your sender rating. Get a low enough sender rating you could find yourself being marked as a spammer and blacklisted. Get blacklisted and you won’t be able to send any mail – which could potentially ruin a perfectly good company reputation.

Stand and Deliver

Stop bouncing. It really is quite simple if you have a quality email service provider.

GraphicMail gives access to two vital functions that can save your career from bouncing away.

  1. Detailed Reports and Analysis The application offers a detailed reports function that can be used to identify email bounces as well as a whole host of other interesting data such as what devices are opening your mail and where. Now you can snipe those annoying bounces and keep your sender reputation from crash landing.
  2. List Clean Up If going through all that data seems like hard work, it doesn’t have to be. GraphicMail also offers a list clean up service that gets rid of all the hard email bounces while keeping an eye on the soft bounces so you don’t have to!

What are your experiences with email bounces? Are they has traumatising as the last episode of Knight Rider? Leave your comments below and let us know!

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